By Michael Bald
Graphic by Molly Swisher
So, I guess it’s safe to say mainstream movies are officially gone from theatres the rest of the year, leaving audiences at the mercy of streaming services to keep us going until the 2020 crisis is over. However, like mainstream movies, there will be streaming movies that are good, bad and just meh.
And therein lies “Enola Holmes” on Netflix.
While there are many issues with this film, it does not fail in all aspects. Millie Bobby Brown once again is proving herself to be one of the best young actresses working today. Even where aspects of the script can lack, she has such a charming aura around her that you can’t help but watch. I, unfortunately, can’t say this for the rest of the cast.
The most bizarre casting choice in my opinion was Henry Cavill as Sherlock Holmes. While the character is known for his witty comebacks, brilliant thought processes and charming persona, Cavill fails in all aspects. Maybe I have been personally spoiled with Benedict Cumberbatch and Robert Downey Jr.’s portrayals of the character, or Cavill just had the charisma of a wet brick. I know the movie revolves around Enola, but the fact that Cavill had one of the most iconic characters in fiction and did nothing special with it was disappointing.
But, where this movie lacks the most is Enola’s journey. Sherlock’s character is a brilliant, skilled individual who is extremely flawed in practical manners. He doesn’t understand societal and human emotions. He’s kind of a robot.
At the beginning of the movie, Enola is set up as an individual who knows nothing of the outside world because she lives in a house with only her mother. Whenever she goes out on her adventure, one would guess it would be something of a fish-out-of-water scenario and she would have to learn aspects of the real world to complete her arc as a character. But she never has any issues throughout the movie. She has the same skills and intellect of Sherlock, but understands people and their emotions. A storyline without any flaw can be boring to watch since she’s not really growing as a character.
The film also felt a little preachy at times. Since the film revolves around a girl, it added a feminist message that felt shoved in there just to be “woke.” Now just because it wants to empower women doesn’t make it bad. Some of my favorite characters from movies and T.V. shows were women who overcame adversity such as Pam Beesly from “The Office,” Sarah Conner from “The Terminator” or The Bride from “Kill Bill.”
But those characters had one thing that Enola didn’t, flaws. And without those, it made her an unrelatable and preachy person who acted like she was better than you for always doing the right thing, which can get old after a while.